Simply put, “greening out” refers to cannabis overuse or overdose. Exactly why and how greening out occurs is a bit more complex; greening out can happen as a result of recreational use but may happen to individuals using cannabis medicinally. The risks for greening out increase by using alcohol with cannabis or by ingesting the drug by various means that allow for a higher degree of potency. Although medical professionals do not believe that greening out can induce permanent damage, it can be an extremely unpleasant experience and involve uncomfortable symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and even panic attacks.
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Can You Green Out From CBD Use?
Greening out, or marijuana overdose, can occur with the overuse of marijuana flower, products that contain THC, or CBD products (even when they do not contain psychoactive chemicals). Strains of indica, sativa, and hybrid strains can cause greening out too. In short, whether an individual smokes a joint of marijuana, uses a bong or water pipe, ingests edibles such as lozenges, uses oils, or takes concentrates like waxes or butters, they may be vulnerable to greening out. Using marijuana with alcohol or other drugs can also increase the risk for greening out.
What Should You Know About CBD’s Effects, Including Its Properties, Benefits, and Safety Profile?
CBD, cannabidiol, is the active ingredient in cannabis, or more formally, the cannabis sativa plant. CBD is found in both marijuana and hemp. Its overuse, as discussed, can cause greening out. People use cannabis medicinally and recreationally; when they do, they may experience effects such as:
- Reduced appetite
- Feelings of calm
- Pain relief
- Dry mouth
Many people take cannabis for pain relief from various conditions and increased feelings of calm or relief from mental health symptoms such as anxiety. Some people find it helps them to relax and get to sleep. Although CBD doesn’t contain THC, the chemical that gets people high; it can still lead to greening out when overused.
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What Is Greening Out and What are the Symptoms and Possible Causes?
Greening out can cause a number of discomforting effects. People sometimes refer to greening out as “the spins” because of the dizziness it causes. The symptoms of greening out include:
- Pale skin
Some people may experience anxiety or panic as a result of greening out. Symptoms of cannabis overdose can last for mere minutes; some, conversely, might last for hours. Even though greening out isn’t thought to be as dangerous as many other forms of overdose, some of its symptoms (such as vomiting) can lead to health risks (like dehydration). People who become dizzy while greening out are also at increased risk for falling or experiencing an accident.
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What are the Risk Factors of Greening Out?
If you use cannabis or marijuana, you should be familiar with the risk factors for greening out. The dose you take, your method of consumption, and unique risk factors can heighten the risk for overdose. Those at increased risk of greening out are: users who combine alcohol with cannabis/marijuana and infrequent users who begin to use heavily.
Since CBD can interact with not only alcohol but also other drugs, including medications, individuals who are taking other drugs or even prescribed medications are more vulnerable to overdose.
The dose a person uses is also going to impact their vulnerability for overdose. Some methods of intake are more potent’ than others. Using cannabis concentrates offers a higher dose than many other methods, making this method a higher risk. Water pipes or bongs can deliver a more potent dose, too. A person’s age and size can also impact their risks for overdose.
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How Can You Manage Greening Out and Prevent an Overdose?
If you experience the symptoms of greening out, you should try to lie down as soon as possible, especially if you experience dizziness. If you become dizzy, you could fall and injure yourself. Although symptoms of greening out may only last a few minutes or couple hours, some people might experience them all day. Typically, these symptoms will dissipate in about 24 hours as a result of the natural detox process.
Aside from resting during greening out, it may be helpful to drink water and take deep breaths. Eating can also alleviate greening out; however, if you’re vomiting, you may want to wait till nausea and vomiting symptoms ease before eating. If symptoms continue beyond 24 hours without dissipating, seek medical attention.
How Can You Use CBD Responsibly?
Cannabidiol use is on the rise and likely to keep rising. With the legalization of marijuana and a wide range of products containing CBD, it’s important to keep the risks for greening out in mind, and to use these chemicals responsibly. It’s extremely important to be aware of the symptoms of greening out, so that you can take precautions and prevent them from happening.
Remember that if you are an infrequent user of CBD or marijuana and begin to use heavily, you are at heightened risk of overdose. If you mix CBD or marijuana with alcohol or other drugs, you can also be at increased risk for greening out. Using cannabidiol responsibly will help you reduce the risk of overdose. Be mindful of your dosing requirements and don’t mix drugs. Also, don’t stack doses.
Keep in mind that developing a tolerance to marijuana is possible. When developing a tolerance, many people will increase their dose, but this can pave a path to addiction and heighten risks for ill effects such as greening out. If you begin to experience symptoms of greening out, lie down and try to relax until symptoms pass. Seek medical help if symptoms become too severe or if they don’t dissipate after 24 hours.
Marijuana/cannabidiol overdose is not uncommon, but it can cause you to feel panic if you’ve never experienced its symptoms before. With responsible use, you can prevent these overdoses from occurring. If you find that your use is causing problems and that you are not able to curb or end it, it may be time to seek marijuana treatment.
FHE Health offers treatment for all types of substance use disorders, including marijuana addiction. Any form of substance addiction can impact your life, causing problems and detracting from your overall health and wellbeing. It’s true that a marijuana addiction is not as dangerous to health as, say, an opioid or alcohol addiction, but it can still negatively impact the important aspects of an individual’s life. We also offer dual diagnosis treatment. If you experience mental health symptoms as well as symptoms of substance addiction, you may need dual diagnosis treatment, and we can help.